Monday, July 19, 2010

Miami Beach Schools turn IB

Last week, July 15-18, the 2010 International Baccalaureate Conference of the Americas was held in Miami Beach. One reason why the organization chose Miami Beach: Since creating the Education Compact in January of 2008, the city government has been committed to turning all of our schools - K - 12 - into IB schools. The goal is that by 2011, all Miami Beach schools will be IB. Often IB is offered at the 9-12 level, less often at the elementary level. And, I believe, we're the first city of have schools with regular feeder patterns, not magnet schools, offer our local students an IB education.

So what is an International Baccalaureate program like? You can read more at the organization's website, but a brief description is that IB programs aim to "develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world" using best practices.

Miami Beach offered its residents a chance to join members of the program, local educators, and city officials in a public conversation about the IB program, last Wednesday (July 14). I attended and was impressed by what I saw! Those best practices include what we learn about as we prepare to become educators: assessments through demonstration of knowledge and mastery, teaching through multiple intelligences, active-learning, and student responsibility for work and achievement. To see more about the exciting educational progress taking place in Miami Beach, please visit the city's website and click on the Education tab.